A functioning, motivated team, is a healthy asset to any business but especially a start-up. In new businesses, it is essential that the ground rules are thought through to ensure your team quickly learns to operate smoothly and efficiently. Building a new team is an exciting challenge, but it can be intimidating, as a team consists of people. People with their own ideas, agenda’s and personalities and blending them all is a bit like a jigsaw with constantly changing pieces. It is not enough to put a team together for the short term; it has to be able to evolve, to keep pace with the business. It must be sustainable; one product does not a company make. It must be adaptable; changing markets and consumer requirements demand this. A team also should be able to grow and separate without losing integrity and continuity. These are all achievable expectations, as we can see from some successful start-up companies. Check out the new high-tech company F-Wheel for a resourceful, functioning team. They brought different specialists together and created a new mode of green travel, the iCarbot that has taken the market by storm, and they are continuing to grow and expand.
Many models and principles can be applied to create your team depending on what area they are working within, yet most have a common core that will produce a proactive, successful and productive team. Teams are made, it’s not about throwing a group of people together and hoping it works. If, as a new business owner or developer you want to make a sustainable impression on the global market your team has to be an ‘A’ team. ‘B’ teams just won’t make it.
Know Your Goals in Creating an ‘A’ Team
A business team is brought together for a purpose: to create a new product, to develop an idea for a product, to make, promote, market and sell the product. For all teams, the goals or mission of what they are trying to achieve should be clear. Defining goals and objectives is an ongoing process, so keep them flexible and concise.
A team charter can be a useful tool in helping focus on what is important. This does not have to be set in stone but can be modified and developed down the line, share with the team members as this is useful when the focus is lost or straying. Consider as a start outlining: –
- What the central goal of the team is
- The outcomes for the team activities
- How can it be measured?
Recruiting for the ‘A’ Team:
Identify the skills required for the team; without the correct mesh of technical or know how skills any project is doomed from the start. Look for people who will bring the right credentials, and the right commitment and motivation. Finding the right people from the beginning saves a lot of problems down the line. The business world is not static, with socioeconomic changes, and technical advancements occurring all the time. A team must be able to think, and function outside of the box sometimes, to actually throw out the rules, to respond to changes. To be dynamic the ‘A’ Team needs:
- Drive and motivation; essential components for a successful team.
- Adaptability and willingness to learn; crucial in today’s rapidly changing business environments. ‘Hire innovators not plodders’ is the successful creed of Mike Jennings – founder of Recruitment.com.
- Look for combinations that will meld together; that is experienced members blending with innovators and free spirits, that will keep a team strong in the face of any upcoming challenges.
- A salary is expected but incentives tend to encourage motivation, rewards for jobs well done are psychological triggers, that bring positive outcomes for the team members and the company.
Sustainability of A Team
Teams, however, well they fit together do experience conflict. In an ideal world, every member of a team would understand and accept their roles. They would show respect to each other and of course not disagree on anything. Unfortunately, most of us live in a real world where expectations are not always met. No matter how much effort is put into recruitment, natural evolution brings conflict. The skill is in managing the conflict, so the team does not disintegrate, but grows and learns from any situation that arises. Management Strategies to facilitate a better understanding of the mechanics of team functioning are important, not just in managing conflict but in promoting growth for better functioning and productivity. Nurture the people, and they will respond positively, and this will reflect in your business growth A sustainable team needs to: –
- Foster respect for each member’s skills, encourage people to listen to each other while stopping whinging and moaning.
- Encourage active discussion to promote creativity, being clear that constructive criticism, not negative comments are the only accepted form of disagreement.
- Use constructive problem-solving approach to any situation where conflict might arise.
- Look to maximize the strengths of the members.
- To maintain long-term energy and interest vary work assignments
A high functioning team will maintain productivity, set standards for future team endeavours and of course improve creativity and productivity. A business that is looking for global growth has to know its team is robust, reliable, adaptable and there for the long haul. Put effort into organizing and supporting your team to create a model for your business that sees all aspects of it going forward and continuing to grow.
Author: Georgi Todorov